What is it that really transforms a house into a home? Is it the colour of paint you choose for the walls, the cushions and candles you use to make it cosy or the people you invite to share your space? Whatever makes a home for you, one thing is guaranteed to tie a room together and really put your own mark on it – art. The world of home décor has come a long way since the tacky Athena posters of the 90s. Now home owners have a wealth of choices at their fingertips, from mass produced prints at places like Ikea to original artworks by famous artists costing millions of pounds. So how can you get some great artwork for your home without spending a fortune? Here’s our quick guide to turning your home into a work of art:
While an original piece by a famous artist is likely to be out of your budget, you can still pick up a genuine piece of unique art without breaking the bank. Check out your local art galleries to see what artists in your area have to offer, and keep an eye out in the local papers for any art shows or fairs. It’s also worth checking out what’s on the walls in your local bars, cafes and coffee shops – many up and coming artists will use these spaces to showcase their work, so they can be a great place to pick up pieces for a relatively reasonable price. Another good way to get original art on the cheap is to head to graduate shows for students finishing arts courses at college or university. Most courses will finish with a final show during which pieces made by students are available to buy. Because of the diverse range of talent it’s a great way to browse several different styles at once, and who knows – you might get lucky with a piece from someone who goes on to become the next big thing!
Of course, not everyone has easy access to student art shows and art galleries. Another great way to source original art is to look online. There are hundreds of websites out there dedicated to helping emerging artists to sell their work and discerning customers to find quality, unique art at reasonable prices. Want some budget friendly prints to liven up your home? Etsy is a useful resource for tracking down pieces from amateur and professional artists from around the world. Or perhaps you’d like a piece of sculpture or an original painting? Ebay simulates the experience of having a good old rummage around in someone else’s attic – and you can often get lucky with amazing artworks at insanely low prices. Just watch out for frauds!
When we think of artwork we usually think of traditional paintings or prints to be hung on walls. But even the furniture we choose for our rooms can make a statement and function as a piece of art. Investing in, for example, a modernist chair or an Art Deco cabinet can really transform a whole room and create a focal point. For original, quality designs available direct from the makers, check out Made.com. They work with small scale furniture designers around the world to source beautiful designs, allowing you to shop for unique furniture without having to trail around scores of showrooms and warehouses. Choose bold chairs, sofas and units to create an eye-catching centrepiece, or create a more subtle look with design-led lamps, tables and cushions.
Make your own
If you don’t like the idea of someone else’s work adorning your walls – or if you simply don’t have the budget to buy art – why not make your own? You don’t have to be Van Gogh to get creative with some paints and a canvas and make something to brighten up a boring wall. You can also create easy pieces of art by choosing some fabric that you like and mounting it on a simple wooden frame. Want to get the family in the picture? There are lots of companies out there like Snapfish who specialise in transforming your beloved family photos into beautiful pieces of art. All you need to do is choose a favourite snap and send it to the company – and they’ll send you back a quality print that can be mounted on your wall and treasured for years to come.